Participants must be in good health and physical condition and are strongly advised to follow our pre-departure fitness training recommendations, where offered and/or necessary. Your acceptance of these booking conditions and payment of a deposit indicate you believe you are of sufficient physical condition to participate in this tour and have satisfied yourself of this through consultation with an appropriate medical professional. If you suffer from severe muscular, chest, heart or bronchial disorders, or if you are a severe asthmatic, or have high blood pressure, you are strongly advised against participating. Tours take place in remote areas where there is little or no access to normal medical services or hospital facilities for serious problems. Where necessary, evacuation can be prolonged, difficult and expensive. Medical and evacuation expenses will be the responsibility of the Client, for this reason it is recommended that you are strongly encouraged to take out appropriate travel insurance. Inca Land Adventures reserves the right in its absolute discretion to refuse a Client the right to participate in a tour on medical or fitness grounds.
Are the porters treated well? Yes!!!
We believe our porters (The red blue train team) do a huge percentage of the work on the Inca Trail and deserve to be treated well. All our porters are trained and equipped with proper bags to carry the equipment, back supports, t-shirts for the day, body warmers for the cold nights, ponchos for the rain, drinks, snacks and plenty of food
WHY INCA LAND ADVENTURES?
INCA LAND ADVENTURES has changed the idea (on the whole Inca Trail) of the OLD tourism practices (abusive) to a real SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT (care for the environment, very good treatment for our porters, and a honest tourist personal service).
INCA LAND ADVENTURES in only 3 years has become the leading company in RESPOSIBLE TOURISM and this make us feel proud and encourages to improve our ideas and actions.
INCA LAND ADVENTURES (a licensed tour operator) is an agency that works with knowledgeable, experienced Tour Guides, really cares about the porters´ welfare, is environmentally sensitive and believes strongly in sustainable tourism in general. Inca land adventures has currently created jobs for many guides, porters and cooks and contributes to the Peruvian government with 19% taxes on all sales (overseas companies are exempt from pay
Huayna Picchu is the towering mountain behind the actual site of Machu Picchu. From a distance the mountain looks impossible to climb without the necessary tools but even though a strenuous climb with some parts where you will actually will need both hands and feet, the climb is quite possible for all averagely fit visitors.
For many people climbing Huayna Picchu is one of the highlights when visiting Machu Picchu. The climb itself is interesting as you will see how the Inca did cut out some steps out of the rocks and as you wind around the side of a mountain will see Machu Picchu from different angles. Before you reach the top you will also have to go through a tunnel carved in the rocks and the higher you get the more structures you will recognize on the top of the mountain.
Some structures and terraces are built on impossible places that really speak to your imagination. Some structures are almost glued to the mountain side with a sheer drop of a couple of hundred meters on the other side. The views (on a clear day – on cloudy days sometimes you cannot even see the site from here) of Machu Picchu seen from Huayna Picchu are breathtaking and do really give you an impression of the magnitude of the site. You will also be able to appreciate the different sectors of the site as the surrounding landscapes with some snowcapped mountains.
A couple of years ago, the INC (Peru’s National Cultural Institute) decided to implement a maximum number of visitors daily to climb the Huayna Picchu Mountain. This was done to diminish the impact of visitors on this steep climb and to allow the excavations on the top of the mountain its space. The number implemented was 400 visitors daily. The visitors could go up between the times the site opens until 2 hours before the site closes in the evening.
From the 15th of July on, the INC together with the changes for the entrance tickets to Machu Picchu changed the rules to climb Huayna Picchu. The maximum number of 400 people daily has been maintained but the big change is the fact that visitors can only climb Huayna Picchu in the morning in two groups of 200 each. The groups have been given fixed times to climb Huayna Picchu and the time allowed on the mountain therefore has also been limited. The first group can climb Huayna Picchu from 7-8AM and the second group from 10-11AM. This also means that the people from the first group have to back down by 10AM. For the second group this would be 1PM.
These new rules and especially the time slots in place, many people (especially the ones who have a one day visit to Machu Picchu) will not have the chance to climb Huayna Picchu and see the site from this angle. For these people there are several different alternatives that will also give you the chance to see Machu Picchu from above and even with lesser crowds.
Alternatives to Climbing Huayna Picchu
Being such an elaborated and outstretched site, obviously many people would like to get a Birdseye view of the site. The most famous and known way to see the site of Machu Picchu from above is from the towering mountain behind Machu Picchu, namely Huayna Picchu. Nevertheless
as the entrance rules and fees for Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu have changed recently for many people this is no longer an option.
Therefore we would like to provide you with some alternatives to climbing Huayna Picchu and seeing Machu Picchu from above. Located on a mountain ridge surrounded by even higher mountains you can imagine that there are several ways to see Machu Picchu from above. Following we will mention 3 alternatives for great views on the site and at times much less crowded than Huayna Picchu itself;
Machu Picchu Mountain; across from Huayna Picchu on the other site of the site there is another mountain called Machu Picchu Mountain. Machu Picchu means Old Mountain and this mountain reaches even higher than Huayna Picchu itself. The site has been called after this mountain and together with Huayna Picchu make up for the “saddle” the site is located in. Machu Picchu Mountain can be climbed without any surcharge and when skies are opening up will give way for some of the best photo moments you will encounter on the site. From here you can see the entire site (even parts of the slopes that cannot be seen from Huayna Picchu) and gasp down into the valleys on both sides of the site. The walk is almost twice as long as the climb to Huayna Picchu but less steep and rocky as the Huayna Picchu climb. The best time of day to visit this part of the site would be around noon. In order to get here, after entering the site of Machu Picchu, take a left and head towards the Sun Gate. Halfway you will see a sign directing you to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain. A round trip will take you about 2.5-3 hours but is definitely worth the effort as you will see the lesser visited sites of Machu Picchu.
The Sun Gate; The Sun Gate was the official entrance to Machu Picchu for the Inca Trail coming from the Sacred Valley and Cusco. Here you can find the caretakers hut and see some of the most famous views of Machu Picchu. Most famous pictures are taken from the Caretakers hut half way to the Sun Gate. From the Sun gate you can continue for a bit over the original Inca Trail in order to get an idea of what it is to walk the Inca Trail. Between the Sun Gate and the actual site you can see some large plains which may have been used for agricultural or ceremonial purposes.
Putucusi Mountain; Putucusi Mountain this is located on the other side of the Vilcanote Valley. This is a very steep mountain and climbing it is not for the fainthearted. You can get there by leaving from Aguas Calientes via the road to Machu Picchu but not crossing the river. Continue for a bit besides the river until you reach a small dirt road leading off the main road. Continue here for a while until you reach the first stairways. It may be that at times you will find a check post here as this mountain is being visited more and more and since the INC is starting to charge for this mountain as well. As the mountain is being taken more into use, it is also possible that parts of the ladders will be under maintenance. Nevertheless after climbing the first part over rocky staircases, you will reach the first ladders. The ladders are not for the fainthearted as they are not all in the best shape and come with ropes to hold you on to. It is a quite tiring climb but the views once up there are more than rewarding. You will be able to see Machu Picchu from a whole new angle, seen by very few people. However as there is still some confusion about the entrance and the maintenance it may be that you cannot climb this mountain at any time. If you have the time in Aguas Calientes it is however definitely worth checking out.
Adult $ 60.00 US
Student $ 30.00 US
Climbing Cerro Machu Picchu
This moderate three-hour hike is a good alternative to climbing Huayna Picchu if Huayna Picchu has reached its daily quota or if you are afraid of heights (Huayna Picchu has one steep and exposed section).
The hike up Cerro Machu Picchu (3,051 meters, or 601 meters above Machu Picchu) offers lots of fresh air, quiet natural surroundings, and a great view at the top.
Cerro Machu Picchu is the mountain above Machu Picchu in the direction of the Inti Punku, or Sun Gate. To get there take the Inca Trail out of the Machu Picchu ruins past the Caretaker’s Hut and towards Inti Punku. About 150 meters past the Caretaker’s Hut, head right up a set of stairs with a sign that says “To Machu Picchu Mountain.”
Follow the trail for one hour through a habitat of exotic birds, orchids, lichen, moss, and trees, until arriving at the bottom of a set of Inca stairs. From here, it is a steep, 45-minute uphill walk.
Its about 3 hours return for people of reasonble fitness.
You need to buy a separate complete entry to climb Cerro Machu Picchu.
Adult $ 60.00 US
Student $ 30.00 US
This amazing trek runs beneath the magnificent Salkantay mountain (6.271m/20569ft), one of the highest and most stunning in the Peruvian Andes.